Did you know the story that the classic children’s toy, the yoyo, was originally created by Filipinos as a weapon and used for both hunting and jungle warfare. The truth is that story is a myth started by the Duncan Yoyo Company as a marketing ploy. Historians are not sure, but they believe the yoyo was probably invented in China . We do know that the Greeks had yoyo’s 200 years before there were people living in the Philippines . The Mayans even used yoyo’s as far back as 700 AD.
Over the centuries the yoyo has had a variety of names. It was called a “Quizes” in England and “L’emigette” or “Incroyable” in France . In America , before Donald Duncan, it was called a “Whirligig” or “ Bangalore ”. The name “Yoyo” probably comes from “Jou-Jou”, another French name for the toy. Many notable people have enjoyed playing with this toy. France ’s Napoleon and King Louis XVII relaxed with a yoyo. President Richard Nixon liked to play with them and Abbie Hoffman even used one to make a political statement while appearing before Congress.
Now for the rest of the story.
The yoyo has become international. Over fifteen countries hold national championships. Touring Yoyo Teams draw huge crowds. Trick shots like “Walking the Dog” and “Shooting the Moon” are standard with most yoyo enthusiasts. The popularity of the yoyo has helped built one of the largest toy companies in the world. This company grosses billions each year.
None of this would be possible without a simple contribution made by Filipinos. While Filipinos did NOT invent the yoyo; what they did was invent the continuous loop string that allows for all the tricks. Without that simple modification none of those tricks and tournaments would be possible.